Houston Rockets: 10 possible replacements for Christian Wood
Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last 72 hours, you likely know that Houston Rockets star big man Christian Wood suffered a significant ankle injury on Thursday night. But this isn’t just your run in the mill ankle injury, as Wood previously injured the same ankle earlier in the season, which makes this injury more concerning.
The Rockets released the official diagnosis for Wood’s injury on Friday, following the results of his MRI. What wasn’t included in the diagnosis what exactly how long one can expect Wood to be out, as they simply stated that he will be re-evaluated on a weekly basis.
10 players the Houston Rockets should consider signing with Christian Wood out
One could argue that the Rockets were in dire need of another big man prior to Wood’s injury, so it seems like a no-brainer that they will sign someone to help replace the production lost with Wood out of the lineup. We previously provided a list of big men that the Rockets could use, although several of those players have since been signed and the Rockets passed on each of those candidates.
With that being the case, we’ll provide a new batch of players that should warrant consideration by Rockets general manager Rafael Stone. Let’s get started.
Rockets: Players that could replace Christian Wood –10. Ivan Rabb
After being a McDonald’s All-American and a top-five ranked high school prospect in the nation, Ivan Rabb decided to attend the University of California in Berkeley, and the move paid off for the 6-foot-10 forward. Rabb was named Pac-12 All-Freshman and Second-Team All Pac-12 in his first season with the Golden Bears, posting averages of 17.5 points and 11.9 rebounds, while making 61.5 percent of his shots.
Rabb followed that up with a First-Team All Pac-12 selection in his second season in 2016-17, averaging 17.2 points and 12.8 rebounds. Rabb was selected by the Orlando Magic in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft but was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies almost immediately after getting drafted.
Rabb lasted two seasons with the Grizzlies and didn’t get much playing time in Memphis, but posted averages of 14 points and 11 rebounds per 36 minutes, while making 56.6 percent of his shots. In year two, Rabb had nearly identical averages as his first NBA season, as he averaged 14.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per 36, adding 2.7 assists as well.
The 24-year-old forward has played extensively in the G-League over the last three seasons and has impressed, as outlined below:
- 2017-18: 15.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.7 blocks
- 2018-19: 20.5 points, 8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.8 blocks
- 2019-20: 16.5 points, 12.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.2 blocks
Rabb has been wildly efficient, as outlined by his true shooting percentages:
- 2017-18: 61.5 percent
- 2018-19: 61.6 percent
- 2019-20: 60.7 percent
Rabb has a 7-foot-2 wingspan, which allows him to alter shots at the rim, which is a skillset that could come in handy for the Rockets.
Ivan Rabb protects the paint for the @memgrizz. #NBAPreseason pic.twitter.com/25PcpEbN6H
— NBA (@NBA) October 7, 2018
Rabb was released by the New York Knicks in January of 2020 and is playing in the G-League, making him available for the Houston Rockets (or anyone, for that matter) to sign. With his potential and is age, he’d make for a worthy replacement for Christian Wood.
Next: No. 9